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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 12, 2015

Owner of Bodybuilding Drug Companies Indicted for Selling Misbranded Drugs

Indictment Seeks Forfeiture of More Than $2 Million for Drugs Sold for Bodybuilding Enhancements Which Were Not Approved for Human Consumption

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury indicted Gavin Burns Smith, age 44, of New Port Richey, Florida, on May 20, 2015 for selling misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud, in connection with the sale of peptides to bodybuilders which were not approved by the FDA for human use. The indictment was returned on May 20, 2015 and unsealed yesterday upon his arrest.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Antoinette V. Henry of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office.

According to the seven count indictment, from 2010 to April 2012, Smith owned and operated Precision Peptides, in Lutz, Florida.  From April 2012 to May 2015, Smith owned and operated DNA Peptides, in New Port Richey, Florida.  Smith placed ads on the companies’ websites and sold body-enhancing injectable drugs to individuals seeking to enhance their physiques.  These drugs were not approved by the FDA for use in humans.

On August 22, 2012, law enforcement executed federal search warrants at Precision Peptides and DNA Peptides.  At some time between August 22, 2012 and March 2015, Smith began operating DNA Peptides out of his residence.

The indictment alleges that Smith caused DNA Peptides and Precision websites to display numerous disclaimers stating that all products sold were for “research/laboratory use only.”  Additionally, prior to purchasing the products from the website, each customer was asked to certify that he or she read the disclaimer that the “chemicals/materials for sale here are . . . not intended for human ingestion.”  Yet Smith allegedly intended that the products be used by consumers for bodybuilding purposes.

The drugs Smith allegedly sold included Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-2, Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-6, Melanotan II, Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone, Ipamorelin, Human Growth Hormone Fragment, Mechano Growth Factor, and Dehydroepiandrosterone, none of which the FDA has approved for use in humans.

The indictment alleges that Smith sold misbranded drugs to an undercover officer and shipped those drugs to various locations in Laurel, Columbia and Beltsville, Maryland on seven occasions from November 21, 2011 to March 12, 2015.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of $2,102,684.06, the value of the misbranded drugs subject to seizure.

Smith faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.  An initial appearance is scheduled for Smith before Magistrate Judge Jillyn K. Schulze in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on June 30, 2015 at 1:45 p.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly O. Hayes, who is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Consumer Protection
Component(s): 
Updated June 12, 2015